FUE Articles

Hair Restoration Costliness: Selecting a Clinic

FUE hair restoration is becoming more affordable than ever. Once far pricier, rates are adjusting with the introduction of better, more affordable equipment and a greater amount of surgeons offering the technique. Greater competition always means a drop in rates. Of course, all depends on a number of factors: the clinic’s reputation, equipment costs, and techniques primarily.

Reputable clinics will almost always charge a rate that reflects their standing. Sales matter, of course, and clinics will adjust as needed to attract viable patients, but one of the most integral parts of pricing is the technique.

Different Types of FUE and Rates

FUE was time-consuming in its early phases of early adoption. Utensils were still being developed for it and, due to the training and skills and talent required, few surgeons were offering the technique. As time passed, however, FUE slowly became more prevalent and more effective as techniques developed. FUE transplantations are still typically more expensive than Follicular Unit Transplants (FUT), an earlier technique that led to less convincing results, greater scarring, and longer recuperation. Still, patients either misinformed or on a budget opted for FUT, and some continue to do so, until FUE became wider spread.

Manual

At first, all FUE was manual. Initially, FUE had major advantages over FUT but it was still less effective than today. Pioneers of the technique had to both develop specialized utensils and techniques to improve results. Manual FUE would eventually become the most common variant available, with a number of top tier surgeons establishing a reputation for it. Manual FUE can be expensive but is typically more affordable than automatic or robotic options. Rates can be low as €2 to €9.

Mechanical

Mechanical FUE developed after manual FUE. Involving specialized rotary devices, mechanical FUE took some time to deliver the consistent results of manual FUE. Further, surgeons needed to adjust their techniques mildly to accommodate such devices. However, the advantages of a faster session led to many clinics adopting the technique. The effectiveness of mechanical FUE both depends on the surgeon and device. Devices can particularly range in quality, with some being cheaply manufactured and others having any number of benefits; minimum invasiveness and follicle catches being a few. Mechanical FUE typically requires less time than manual FUE but is around the same price range: €2 to €9.

Automatic

Automatic FUE has risen in popularity due to their manufacturers’ marketing campaigns. The idea behind these devices is to automate the extraction Unfortunately, all evidence points to the technique being lackluster in comparison to manual and mechanical FUE. Aside from the devices’ current questionability, automatic FUE manufacturers also have a reputation for training surgical techs who then join clinics where the surgeon lacks proficiency; as expected, results are typically awful. Not all automatic FUE leads to bad results but patients should be very cautious. Rates typically range from €4 to €9.

Robotic

Robotic FUE is the latest version available. The latest range of techniques a surgeon can use, robotic devices are typically for extracting follicles efficiently. What the surgeon saves in time, however, the patient currently looses in quality. Robotic FUE devices are known to have higher transection rates than manual or automatic FUE, as well as use a larger diameter of punch. While capable, robotic devices are also far more likely to leave scars as they are more invasive. Many surgeons have tried and abandoned current robotic devices but this may change as they improve. Robotic FUE is typically pricier, both due to the novelty and because some manufacturers charge a royalty. Prices range from €5 to €12.

Notes on Bargain Rates

Even when FUE was spreading bargain rates were available. Such clinics typically offered subpar work by surgeons unfamiliar with techniques and best practices that lead to a good result. People often assume such clinics are in nations with less malpractice laws, and this is true, but many subpar and exploitive clinics were also in nations known for their medical laws and regulations. Regardless of the clinic, results were the same: patients had disappointing to disastrous results that required repair, if possible.

The situation in today’s FUE market is similar. Greater competitiveness is driving rates down but subpar clinics, many in nations with lax medical laws, merely adjust their own rates to stay bargain level. Unscrupulous clinics in countries with tighter regulations also exist, and they may charge bargain rates. However, most such clinics will try to maximize profit by charging average or high rates. Patients have more recourse against clinics in nations with stringent medical regulations, of course, but pressing a lawsuit requires time and resources the patient may lack.

Bargain Rates do Not Mean a Bad Transplant

Bargain rates can imply a lackluster clinic. However, many hair transplant organizations adjust rates according to vacancies or if they are activistic. Reputable clinics seeking to keep a tight schedule will typically offer a discount to fill slots that have been canceled or unfilled. Patients should expect the same quality these clinics typically offer in such a case.

Further, many clinics are suitable in nations with lax medical regulations. Renowned surgeons practice FUE all over the world, even opening different clinics in different nations to increase market reach and appeal to medical tourists. The new Bisanga Cole Hair Transplant Group in Patras, Greece, is a good example. Differentiating between worthwhile and risky clinics from abroad requires major research. Patients looking to enjoy bargain rates, and/or visit a new destination, should always select a clinic and surgeon with an established reputation. Surgeons across the world train under experienced FUE specialists and then offer the technique in their home nation, and eventually teaching it as interest and demand grow there.

Treatments that Complement Transplants

Many clinics also offer a number of hair restoration treatments. These can include microneedling, platelet rich plasma (PRP) with ACell, and stem cell treatments. These treatments range in price and only the latter two are applicable to hair transplantation. However, the addition of these treatments is usually worthwhile. Quality, like price, ranges in the case of PRP and stem cell treatments.

Patients should be sure to do their research, as each serum’s potency and manufacture matter a great deal. With the right processing and potency, though, PRP can help patients enjoy total follicular activation within a third of a year. The extracellular matrix ACell, meanwhile, improves healing and minimizes scarring as it typically does in normal procedures. Additionally, it boosts the effectiveness of PRP.

Patients should always inquire about a clinic’s given treatments and potency, bargain or no. Clinics that offer measurably effective treatments will also typically deliver better transplant results. This is not always the case, of course, but few patients inquire about PRP or other treatments and subpar clinics may offer bad quality treatments as a result. Many clinics offer treatments aside from transplantations as well, though typically not at bargain prices. Those opting for a transplant and treatments, though, will often receive a bargain for the PRP, ACell, or stem cell treatment.

Conclusion: Better Your Transplant is Right the First Time

Hair transplant costliness can be an impediment for some patients. Instead of choosing a questionable clinic, however, they should look into reputable clinics offering discounts or deals. The growing number of clinics means that even large or reputable centers will offer discounts. Further, many clinics also either have credit options or offer discounts on an as-need basis.

When patients are selecting a clinic they are wise to do one thing: consider if the result is subpar. Bad hair transplantations can require numerous repair sessions from a more capable surgeon. Worst yet, patients have to contend with a shoddy result all their lives if the transplantation in unrepairable.

Most essentially, patients should both measure a clinic’s rates and its reputation. Paying an additional Euro per transplant may seem expensive. However, the difference between a normal and good result is tremendous. Hair transplants, with a bit of maintenance, last a lifetime. Making sure the procedure leads to the right results the first time is better for both the patient’s confidence and their wallet.




Last modified: February 18, 2019

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The Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at FM is a team of FUE experts led by an award-winning hair transplant surgeons